Grow The Music festival to revitalise community

Lachlan Jones and James Vann, of The Vanns, will headline the charity Grow The Music. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Lachlan Jones and James Vann, of The Vanns, will headline the charity Grow The Music. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Illawarra musicians will band together this weekend for a charity music festival to benefit remote indigenous communities.

Grow The Music is a volunteer-run initiative providing music programs in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

A dozen acts including The Vanns, Beatmeisters and We're Wolf will play the North Wollongong Scout Hall on Saturday for the second instalment of the Grow The Music festival, with proceeds to fund the organisation's indigenous arts programs.

"Programs have led to increased attendance and engagement at school, and falling crime rates," festival organiser Kate Mooney said.

"It teaches students to play music and stage concerts. It's about engaging the whole community, from children to elders to whole families."

Shaun Meehan is one of those who benefited from programs in the Kimberley, and has travelled down to play the festival. He said Grow The Music has been a success in his town of Wyndham, helping to revitalise the area.

"It started like a snowflake, and then a snowball, and then an avalanche in what it's done for us," Mr Meehan said.

"It gets kids active and out of crime, and thinking about their future. The opportunities are unbelievable."

Wollongong band The Vanns will be the headlining act on Saturday. Drummer Lachlan Jones said they had jumped at the chance to support such a worthwhile project.

"We don't usually get a chance to raise funds for someone, and helping kids play music is a great cause," he said.

Building on the success of last year's inaugural Grow The Music festival, Ms Mooney hopes up to $6000 can be raised. Donations of any musical instruments, from guitars to single pieces of drum kits or drum sticks, are welcome. 

The concert starts at 11am at North Wollongong Scout Hall, George Hanley Drive. Entry is $30 at the door, or $10 with an instrument donation.


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